I was thinking today about when I read St. Francis de Sales’ book, Finding God’s Will for You. I was remembering a part that had stood out to me: he was saying how when we really become good at wanting only God’s will for us, that we don’t care what it is. So if He says, begin this project, we begin it. And if He says abandon this project, we abandon it. Simple as that.
I think that passage struck me so much because I am so far from that ideal. I want what I want. But suffering . . .well a lot of time its the loss of something we want. Often times, its the loss of something that we even thought we needed. Oftentimes all we want in our suffering is for things to go back the way they were.
But we don’t get that.
And because we can’t go back, only forward, we have to detach from these powerful wants. For me, the life the lies ahead is so not the life I wanted. But suffering often doesn’t give us choices. Looking back only keeps me stuck in the pain. Ok, Lord, I don’t think I am ever going to want it . . .help me to accept it.
And so we take a deep breath and begin to accept and when we do that, we begin to detach. I think its a pretty slow process.
I heard once that the one thing we want most of all is the one thing that God will take from us. Because if we kept it, we would replace Him with it. If that’s true, then our most powerful wants are always the ones we have to let go of and if we can let go of that, then we lose the most powerful attachments.
Our attachments to earthly things is what keeps us from following God’s will. And maybe He has to pry them from our hands because we would never let them go on our own.
That’s what’s been so hard for me in my own suffering. I trust that God could make me ok but I don’t want to be ok. I want Him to fix the situation–not me. I want the future I have planned and not the future He has planned. Really, it is just a lack of faith–it’s like I am saying that my plan was better. I have to let go. It’s like that trust game that you play where you close your eyes and fall backwards and you trust your friend will catch you. That’s exactly how I feel–I realized that I have to be willing to close my eyes and just fall and trust that God is going to catch me.
And maybe for some, its knowing that if we can walk with God through this storm, we can trust Him to walk us through anything.
Heard Father Larry Richards talking about Abraham today so I looked up the story. When God called him, what did he say? He said, “Ready!” (Genesis 22:1) even though he had no idea what God was going to ask him.
I am ready for anything you would ask of me, Lord. I am ready to go wherever, do whatever, be whatever. Ready.
And when God told him to go sacrifice his only son through whom God had promised to bring about many generations, whom God describes as the one “whom you love” what did he say? Nothing.
Nothing. He just went and began to do what God commanded.
He trusted God completely that what God promised would come true even if it didn’t make any sense to him.
The things that helped me:
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we have faith to believe
‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise. (Laura Story Blessings) From the album Blessings
And where are you God
Cuz I am finding life to be
So much harder than I had planned
Know that I am afraid
To ask these questions
But You know they are there
And if you know my heart
The way that I believe you do
You know that I believe in You
Still I have these questions
Like How could you God
How could You be so good and strong
And make a world that can be so painful
And where were you God
I know you had to be right there
I know you never turn your head
You know that I’m confused
By all this mystery
You know I get afraid
But if you know my heart
As completely as I trust you do
Oh you know that I trust in you
Is it true that fore every tear I cry
You cry a thousand more
Cuz you weep for those that weep (Steven Curtis Chapman Questions) From the album Beauty Will Rise
Is there anything aside of suffering that works to break those powerful attachments?